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Last night’s “Batman Massacre” shooting in Aurora, Colorado has Internet activists launching campaigns demanding stricter gun control throughout the United States. Initial reports say the gunman identified as James Holmes had an AR-15 rifle (civilian version of an M-16 or M-4 – the standard weapons of the U.S Military), a shotgun, and two handguns with extra ammunition located in his car.

U.S News ranks Colorado #26 for Deadliest Gun States. In fact, Colorado has 12.1 gun deaths per 100,000 people. Internet Activists are saying enough is enough and demanding a crackdown on guns in the United States. With the upcoming election and the recent shooting, gun control is bound to become an important topic up for discussion.

As someone who has been shooting avidly for most of my life, I understand the dangers that surround firearms and their use. Safety is always the first priority no matter the given situation. However, over time it has become more and more clear that harsher screenings for firearms is needed. For most of my life I believed in the Second Amendment and believed that individuals had the right to have firearms both for their protection and for their use in hunting or sports, but recently, I have began to change my views.

A loophole in gun laws has made it so individuals can access firearms without going through the standard two-week background check. Individuals can now buy firearms from gun shows and be home in an hour. I believe it is time to change this. With stricter gun laws, especially at gun shows, shootings such as this one, as well as infamous shootings such as Columbine, can be avoided. I also believe that technology can play a helpful role in monitoring individuals who already own guns. When you buy a gun you should have to simply log onto an online government monitored website and answer questions addressed towards both your firearm, as well as your mental health. If someone fails to do this they face fines, and the potential loss of their firearms. I believe there are simple and quick fixes to firearm control in the United States.

Currently the NRA is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States, this is because in order to join most firing ranges in the U.S., individuals must become members of this association. The NRA is so powerful because there has not been a strong enough movement by those against guns. Sadly, I think most individuals do not consider gun laws to be a pressing issue until horrific and tragic events such as Columbine, the Batman Massacre, and the killing of Trayvon Martin happen.

As someone who has loved shooting competitively my whole life, originally I hesitated to promote gun control, but I also hope to prevent tragic shootings such as this one. If giving up some of my Second Amendment rights can prevent shootings such as this one, I am willing to do so. 

Chris Buffone

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